Let’s talk about mental health
Today is R U OK?Day and this year’s message is ‘There’s more to say after R U OK?’.
Across Australia and the world our healthcare workers are facing an unprecedented situation as they try to manage the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Today, it is now even more important than ever that we all promote a sense of community, reach out and ask our friends, family and colleagues RU OK?
Mental health challenges don’t discriminate – they can affect anyone at any time.
We often hear ‘we’re all in this together’, but it’s vital we actually let people know this with our actions. Letting a person know that you care and that they are worthy of being cared about is sometimes enough. However, it’s really important to ask, “what can I do to help?” as a follow up question because what we might assume will help someone feel better may not actually make them feel better at all. If you’re feeling capable to support someone, practically or emotionally, let them know you’re there to help now and for as long as they need. If not, there are a number of great support services available. If you need professional support, please contact your doctor, local health centre or one of the services listed below:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14 – Call 24/7 for crisis support and suicide prevention services
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 – Call 24/7 for advice, referral and support from a trained mental health professional
- Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 – 24/7 free counselling and support for people at risk of suicide, carers and bereaved
- MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78 – 24/7 telephone and online support for men with emotional health and relationship concerns
- 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732 – 24/7 counselling, information and referrals for sexual assault, domestic and family violence
- eFriend: efriend.org.au – A free, virtual peer support service that proving non-clinical, peer-based mental health support.
- QLife: 1800 184 527 3pm – midnight, every day – Phone and online anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships
It’s not always easy to keep the conversation going when someone says they’re not OK, but it could change a life. By starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you’ve noticed, you could help that family member, friend or workmate open up. If they say they are not ok, you can follow our conversation steps to show them they’re supported and help them find strategies to better manage the load. If they are ok, that person will know you’re someone who cares enough to ask.